“We’re About to Have a Baby, But Our Relationship is a Mess”

I met a girl on the internet last July and we started talking and flirting. We had both just come out of bad relationships and originally only wanted a friendship from each other. A couple of months down the line we decided to have a go at a long distance relationship. Being 21, this was my first serious relationship and, at 25, her second.

I was having problems coping with the distance and rekindled a friendship with a former lover and we exchanged raunchy messages. This continued, on and off, for the first eight months of my relationship with my girlfriend. Now, she and I are having a baby in two months. She went through my phone one night while I was asleep and found the messages. As we live together, it’s hard to give each other space that we need to decide what to do. I have apologized profusely for being such a moron and acting without care and with complete disrespect and I’m trying to make a concerted effort to change in order to save our relationship.

She keeps flipping and flopping between wanting to make things work and wanting me gone. This puts me in an awkward place as I’m currently stuck in limbo and don’t know where to turn. I desperately need advice! — Young Dad to Be

Honestly, you don’t sound anywhere near mature enough for a serious, long-term relationship, let alone fatherhood. A handful of months ago you were having trouble coping with the distance in your LDR and now you’re going to be a dad? Ooh, boy. Take it from someone who has done both — having a baby is WAY harder than having a long distance relationship. If you couldn’t do an LDR well, you’re almost definitely going to have a difficult time caring for a baby.

But, you know what will make things easier? If you don’t have relationship drama on top of being a young, inexperienced, immature new parent. So, I say end the relationship and focus instead on being good co-parents. Maybe that means living together for the time-being or maybe it means getting your own place. You and your baby mama need to sit down and discuss that detail. And while you’re at it, discuss how you plan to afford this child. Who is paying for what? Are you getting any help from anyone? Discuss your financial plan as well as your long-term childcare plan. Are you both working? Do either of you get family leave? Who will watch the child when you both are away from him or her?

Basically, at this point, forget the idea of having a relationship with your baby mama. It’s too late for all that and with parenthood two months away, you’ve got bigger fish to fry than saving a relationship that has no foundation, has zero stability, and has been messed up since day one. Move on. Focus on getting your shit together enough to give this kid you’re about to have in your life a fighting chance. And if you don’t think that’s possible, consider giving it a home that offers the stability you aren’t able to at this time.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. I really love how you just cut through the considerable amount of bullshit going on in this letter with this advice, Wendy! Forget the relationship, drop the drama and focus on raising your kid. Simple and perfect.

  2. lets_be_honest says:

    I don’t disagree with the advice, but I don’t think a few sexts to someone else early on in a relationship = relationship is doomed, give up immediately.

    But, yes, you both should be focused on your plans for caring for the baby right now. Maybe you are, or have already figured all that out. Who knows? You say you’re trying to change, and I hope you are. Its do or die time. Grow up, read some co-parenting books (that will help whether or not you stay in this relationship) and make sure you are 100% prepared for this baby. Good luck to you both.

    1. The texts continues on and off for the first 8 months of the relationship; that’s different than “a few sexts to someone else early on in a relationship,” especially when said relationship is only a little over a year old.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I guess it just sounded like maybe they weren’t super exclusive (is that a thing?) or serious at all and then, BAM, she’s pregnant and they got serious, moved into together, etc. This is a lot of guessing on my part, especially timeline-wise of moving in.

        Oh, and now I see that it continued AFTER she got pregnant. Why can’t people just provide easy, simple timelines? Must make you crazy.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I like this suggestion. DW LWs please include clear timelines with important events highlighted.

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        with color-coded tabs.

      4. I mean, it’s not like we’re talking about a handful of texts early in the relationship, like five years ago. We’re talking about something that went on for over eight months and apparently only stopped a few months ago — AFTER the girlfriend got pregnant…

      5. Bittergaymark says:

        Why does EVERY relationship start under the guise of monogamy? Why is it so fucking wrong to play the field? Oh, right. In this case BOTH parties were too fucking mentally defective to figure out how to work a frigging condom. Good luck with that baby, kiddos.

      6. It makes me sad for the child, really.

      7. I agree it’s different – it’s like the moment they decided to be more than friends and try out the LDR thing he just went AWOL. Makes no sense… why commit to someone you obviously don’t want to commit to (and might not have the maturity and function to anyway)?

  3. Yes, great advice.
    I really don´t know how Wendy even understands the letters sometimes. From the getting out of a bad r/ship (and into his 1st), to the LDR, to then living together (at what moment?) to the pregnancy.
    Also is it me or does this kid write like stuff just happens, not that there were decisions made along the way?
    And I know I´ve said it a million times before, BIRTH CONTROL, people. It is your friend!

    1. ‘does this kid write like stuff just happens, not that there were decisions made along the way?’
      So many letters sound like this! How do people just ‘fall’ into living together too soon, or committing too soon or making other mistakes? It means there is almost no advice to give, you’ll probably just coast along like you always have anyway…
      (Also, fellow expat NZ-er, good to see your comments again!)

      1. Hey Nadine! How is life? Still in London?
        And honestly that thing where people act like stuff just happens really bugs me. Own your crap, people.

      2. I am! Trying desperately to make the country let me stay! (My visa is up at the end of the year. Possibly back to the homeland…..)

      3. Ugh. Paperwork sucks! I sympathize.

    2. I don’t know why but I always try and figure out LW’s time lines and it leaves me so confused. Like the raunchy messages started when they were still talking or the few months down the line when they were officially dating? Because if it’s the second, then he just stopped? Because I mean July 2012 to now is only 14 months. So subtract two months of uncertainty, you’re at 12 months then, subtract 8 months of ‘raunchy’ messages and you’re at 4 months so he just stopped in June? You moved in with someone when you were obviously doubting your relationship that much?

      Obviously that’s not the important part of the letter, but trying to figure out timelines get me so side tracked! But, yeah great advice from Wendy.

      1. I´m with you jlyfsh (except I didnt even try to do the math haha).

      2. This is a really confusing letter. He left all the details out in favour of the feelings.

      3. I’m reading it as he stopped the texting around the time he moved in with GF, which, if I had to guess, was at least in part because she was pregnant.

        I think it goes like this:

        July 2012: met online
        September 2012: started LDR
        October/November 2012: LW started the texting
        February/March 2013: GF gets pregnant
        Spring/Summer 2013: LW moves in with GF
        June/July 2013: LW stops texting
        Sometime thereafter, GF finds texts
        Baby due November/December 2013


      4. yeah it’s just a weird timeline! we need some clarification here. and also some clarification on how far away the LDR was, how the decision was made to move in together, what the plans are for the baby, etc!

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        So just assuming the timeline is correct, and that they weren’t exclusive/obviously only a year into a not so stable relationship, I still think there’s a chance here. I mean, he’s writing in trying to find a way to make this right and make it work. That says a lot to me. I feel like they can start fresh and move forward if they try. Maybe I’m just hopeful today though?

      6. i don’t know my guess is she’s terrified of being alone and having a baby, so she’s not sure if she wants him to stay or go. and i can’t decide if he’s hopeful or just not sure how to deal with her wishy washy-ness. if anything having some time apart while learning to communicate needs for the baby might help show them if they think a relationship is possible or even wanted.

      7. Okay, this sounds cold, but why did he just LEAVE THOSE TEXTS on his phone? You’d think he would cover his tracks, right? Especially if he had stopped already by that point?

      8. i actually thought the same thing, haha. like if you’re going to be sneaky/do things behind someone’s back. do a better job of hiding it?

      9. I thought this, too, but then again, as someone else posted earlier, this guy seems to be such a passive passenger in his own life, doing something as proactive as deleting evidence of his cheating might be beyond him.

      10. Murphy’s Law… He’s a fucking idiot.

      11. I just want to thank you Miss MJ for trying to figure it all out… FWIW your timeline is what I had in my head as well

    3. haha, JK is totally back now!! its official. is this three consecutive days now? haha yay!

      1. Only 2. But get ready, I have even less tolerance for crap now. The day there´s a wedding letter all hell will break loose 😛

      2. Haha. I believed you when you were like “ehhh, maybe not *totally* back” but I think you have been sufficiently absorbed back in lol

        And I love that. We need more low tolerances for crap in the world!!

      3. Ugh tell that to the housework I had planned to do this morning. I got NOTHING done. ANd now I have to go work!

  4. LW please take Wendy’s advice to heart….i think by the sounds of your letter having a baby was probably the last thing you should have gone and done, but that can’t be changed now…..what you can do is focus on being a good parent to the baby, focus on having a stable job and income and providing for the baby as best you can….given your young age and the instability of the relationship you have some big challenges ahead….i agree with Wendy 100% that you should forget the relationship as that is not a priority at this time….i think it is a good sign that you wrote in for advice….please take it!

  5. stonegypsy says:

    I am so confused. Did he get the LDR girl pregnant or the former lover? When did they move in together?
    Aside from all that.. WWS

    1. I thought the same thing. “Wait, you’re in an LDR but you’re living together?” Gaaaah.

  6. How did you go from long-distance to living together? What did you discuss to make that change? i feel knowing this would help with any further advice.

  7. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

    You need to focus on the child that you two are bringing into this world and not on the drama you have created betwixt yourselves. I think Wendy gave great advice that this relationship with the mother of your child should not be your focus right now and your energy and time needs to go into preparing for the baby and deciding how you can be mature parents and work together to give your child what he/she will need in life. Sometimes, the best way to do this is by not trying to force a relationship and learning how to co-parent and be friends.

  8. Whoa, so confused by the timeline. But to the LW, I guess I kind of understand the raunchy texts? You started off as pen-pal friends, it sounds like, then went from that straight to long-distance— I get why maybe it didn’t feel like a “real relationship” & you sought excitement elsewhere?

    BUT then again, it certainly turned serious RILL QUICK (I like saying “rill” today), didn’t it? How the fuck did you decide to move in together? Why did you not use birth control? Do either of you really think this is a stable situation to raise a baby in?

    I mean, I agree with Wendy that the best thing is to end the relationship & simply co-parent together. This pairing should have fizzled out, frankly, but now you’ve got a baby on the way, so this girl will be in your life fo-ev-ah. Just, messed up all-around, I think. Sorry I have no other useful advice 😐

  9. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    Mmmm, fried fish. That’s the first thought I had. The second thought was WWS. Figure out all that shit you gotta figure out re: the baby – money, living arrangements, childcare, benefits – I dunno, I bet there are million books on that. Then who knows maybe you’ll get together. But worry about that later.

    I like fish and chips with ketchup, which people make fun of. I also like mac and cheese with ketchup. God I’m so hungry. I forgot to eat dinner last night on account of work. Also did you know there’s a place that delivers pizza 24-7 in chicago? I ordered a pizza at 8:30 am.

    1. I´ve missed your comments AP 🙂
      And know what else I miss? fish and chips. That is the one fast food thing missing from here, now that KFC is back.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        aww shucks, I’m so glad JK is back. she completes me!

        in Canada the signs for KFC say PFK which makes me smile.

      2. Only in Quebec, AP. C’est francais: Poulet frit Kentucky

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        right, right, in Quebec I meant.

    2. What’s wrong with fish and chips with ketchup. You tell the people who make fun of this that it is normal in Britain where I live (what I find really weird is how they have vinegar with chips but that’s another story…).

      1. TheOtherOtherMe says:

        No no no, fish and chips with mayonnaise… just thinking about it’s making me hungry.

    3. I’ll forgive you for the ketchup on fish, but on mac n cheese?

      1. My parents put ketchup on mac & cheese, like whenever my mom makes the baked kind? I did not inherit this love (I don’t even like ketchup, like at all) but apparently it is a thing!

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        I love jelly on my grilled cheese sandwiches. Anyone else do that?

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        no but it sounds great! i love mixing sweet and savory. how do you spell savory, by the way? that looks weird but i can’t be bothered to google

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Right on the surface, not inside with the cheese. Go have one for lunch. You’ll never have it without jelly again!

      5. The only sweet/savory thing I like is chocolate-covered pretzels & salted caramel, I think? Otherwise, I want my savory to be savory. The only thing I want on grilled cheese is a lot of grease, haha

      6. My dad puts grape jelly on his grilled cheese. We always thought he was strange.

      7. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        it’s something my nephews started doing when they were 4… I made fun of them for a whole minute, then i tried it. they’re 10 now and might have outgrown it, not sure, but i certainly haven’t.

      8. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        SO GOOD. I had it last week actually.

      9. very interesting! i’m not sure my stomach could handle this. and i’m going to say something that might make AP hate me (more since I also can’t drink red wine anymore) but I kind of dislike mac n cheese. I’m not a big pasta fan.

      10. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        *gasp* – you probably also hate puppies, babies, and freedom!

      11. I don’t do ketchup on mac and cheese, but I do put Sriarcha on my mac and cheese. And everything else I eat.

    4. Ketchup on fish and chips is totally a thing. Then again I´m from NZ; where they eat ketchup with EVERYTHING: steak, even luncheon ( a kind of sandwich meat thing).

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        ketchup on eggs is amazing too!

      2. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        the thought of eggs without ketchup makes me die a little inside.

      3. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        i mean, if were to be dramatic about ketchup

      4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        ok, here’s a deep question for you all: do you pronounce ketchup like this “catch up”?

      5. lets_be_honest says:


      6. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        you sill goose. i say keh-chup.

      7. Fun fact: in NZ ketchup is called tomato sauce.
        I think I pronounce ketchup ketchep,maybe? Except in spanish, when its ketchoop.

      8. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Waaa? Then what do you call tomato sauce? Or is tomato sauce there made of ketchup?

        Also when you say ketchoop do you ever think ketchpoop and then laugh to yourself?

      9. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        KETCHPOOP!!! Where’s catsmeow to appreciate this?

      10. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        also, know what’s great about DW? you start with a few sexts and a baby on the way, and then you get to ketchpoop in 2.5 seconds. who would have thunk it?

      11. And that the longest comment thread is about ketchup, not in fact the letter in itself haha

      12. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        the LW is going to be all “what the hell? i got way more info on ketchup than i signed up for!”

      13. At least he´ll have lots of good recipe ideas for when his kid is older

      14. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        by “recipe” you mean “put ketchup on mac and cheese and voila!”

      15. He´s 21, that is prob more of a recipe than anything he does thus far!

      16. AP you also gave him eggs with ketchup and grilled cheese with jelly on this thread. Both sound like things that kids might actually eat 😉 So you are helping! And technically the grilled cheese with jelly is a pseudo monte cristo minus the ham and a slightly different type of jelly (unless you’re using raspberry jelly!) so there, that’s an official recipe 😉

      17. POOP! Hello! I’m behind on DW….

      18. What is tomato sauce? Like pasta sauce?
        And no, I can´t say I have.

      19. Kind of like pasta sauce, but with no seasonings. Usually comes in a can, and can be used to make pasta sauce.

      20. So tomato purée?

      21. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I say keh-chup with the emphasis on chup. I also refuse to use anything other than Heinz. Hunts is nasty.

        I also put ketchup on my eggs. Grosses a lot of people out.

      22. Tomato sauce on fish and chips is just how its done, guys.

      23. Is it called tomato sauce in England as well?

      24. I think so? I call it sauce anyway. It still creeps me out how they have sauce and mayonnaise on their chips.

      25. Here theres a sauce (golf sauce) that is made with ketchup and mayo. But people actually buy it like a separate thing! Crazy. App. it´s really good with heart of palm though. There are even pizzas with ham, heart of palm, and then that sauce on top.

      26. Marie Rose sauce? I think thats a mix of the two that is a thing in its own right.

      27. Yeah, it prob. has different names in different places. I just don´t get the point! Are people too lazy to mix the ketchup and mayo (ew) together?

      28. lets_be_honest says:

        ketchup and horseradish for the win!

      29. The only acceptable companion to ketchup is mustard. And only a dab of it. and only on certain things (hamburgers and hotdogs).

      30. lets_be_honest says:

        Haha, I hate when you go to a McD’s on vacation and they do that without asking. Ketchup is for burgers. Mustard is for hot dogs.

      31. Ketchup, Mustard and Relish is for hot dogs.
        You can never have enough condiments!

      32. lets_be_honest says:

        Relish? OK, fine. Ketchup is a no no. So, you’re wrong MMcG. 🙂

      33. do you use cocktail sauce (basically ketchup and horseradish) on seafood?

      34. I don´t really eat seafood, and I´ve never even heard of horseradish here! Not the horseradish condiment or whatever at least. That golf sauce thing I mentioned is used on seafood as well.

      35. I dont really do any condiments anyway. Tomato sauce on chips, sometimes. Mustard and horseradish creep me out, like mayo.

      36. hmm interesting! i only really use cocktail sauce on shrimp if it’s served chilled. but i love it then!

    5. Ketchup + Horseradish = Cocktail sauce which totally rocks on fish. Just saying;)

      1. I like cocktail sauce with shrimp, but fish and chips need tartar sauce. I think I might need to go to Ivars for lunch tomorrow.

  10. LW, I think that you and your soon to be ex-girlfriend should seriously consider finding a loving, stable home for your baby through adoption. Open adoption, closed adoption, etc. Whatever works for the both of you. Sometimes, adoption is the most loving choice that parents can make for their child.

    1. I cannot like this enough.

    2. Bittergaymark says:

      A G R E E D ! ! !

    3. I don’t think we can tell from the letter that LW’s girlfriend will be a bad mom and unable to provide a stable home.
      Also, adoption doesn’t always work out so great for the child.

  11. llclarityll says:

    My one-dollar-and-two cents: Move out now. Don’t wait. Don’t pass go. Why stay in limbo and risk one of you trying to “reignite” something that sounds as flammable as a nail polish remover?

    It’s almost a given that once that baby is born, there will be second thoughts on one or both ends about making this relationship work. So be aware of that, and stick to your guns. You guys have no idea the cute, cuddly shit storm that’s about to open up.

  12. Sophronisba says:

    I think ending the relationship is premature. If they both genuinely care for each other, if he is willing to make amends, now that he is clear on how badly he crossed the line, and if his partner will give both of them a chance to learn and grow, working on the relationship could be the best possible start for the baby.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      Oh, right! They’re soooooo fucking in love! It’s one for the ages…

    2. Please let’s not contribute to their delusional thinking… there is literally nothing about this situation that is the best possible start for the baby.

  13. Seriously! These people get a kid and I have been trying for almost two years! The world is so freaking unfair.

  14. Sue Jones says:

    Not so unusual for a 20 year old dude to act like a jerkface… just hoping they can both grow up a bit to care for this kid. And I also don’t necessarily think the relationship is doomed.

  15. Maybe you can’t be a good boyfriend right now, but you still have the potential to be a good dad if you grow up a little and put your child first.

  16. Moneypenny says:

    Totally agree with Wendy on this. And furthermore the timeline had me totally confused. Anyway, what he can do in the meantime is step up. As in step up to show his girlfriend that he’s willing and able to be a responsible dad. The relationship and the drama is going to take a backseat when the baby comes, and he’s just going to have to accept the outcome (staying together or splitting up) and focus on his child.

  17. Bittergaymark says:

    Eh, I say… Go nuclear. FUCK the sexting partner. In the raunchiest way possible right in the bed of your baby mama. Make sure that she catches You gleefully mid-thrust. And then… In the midst of all that…. Maybe you’ll both fucking come to your senses and look into adoption. And if not — well… You deserve the fucking mess…

    My patience is at an end with careless. moronic whoopsie-we’re-preggers-idiots. Apparently, so many breeders are just so fucking dumb…

  18. Something Random says:

    WWS. Its not just about you, anymore.

  19. Skyblossom says:

    I think Wendy’s right about everything. Adding a baby to a shaky relationship is like pouring gasoline on a fire. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2016463/Sleepless-nights-dwindling-libido-ruined-social-life-Children-wreck-marriage.html

    It’s time to grow up and face reality. You have a child to raise who will be totally dependent on you and it’s mother. How will you meet those needs? I think you need to start with childcare and finances. Do you have someone who can help take care of the baby? Any free childcare will be a huge relief on your budget. Do either of you have jobs that have some flexibility on when you arrive and leave? If you need a daycare center you should be visiting all of your local options. Show up unannounced and see how things sound and if the kids appear happy and well cared for. If there is a center you like you should show up unannounced several more times and make sure it is just as good every time. You will probably have to reserve a space immediately if they take newborns at all. If you have a relative who will watch your child for free you should seriously and gratefully consider that option. How will you buy things like formula if you need it? Go price formula at a few stores and figure out how you will feed your baby. Then price diapers and diaper wipes. I think we were buying one pack of diapers per week, expect to buy at least that many. Your baby has to be fed even if it means you eat Kraft macaroni and cheese yourself, day after day. Figure out healthcare and how you will afford well-baby visits and also visits when the child is sick and prescription medicines. Babies are expensive so start figuring out your budget now. Decide if you will need to move to a more affordable apartment or can one of you move in with a parent to make ends meet.

    If you price out everything and begin to feel desperate and trapped consider placing your baby for adoption.

  20. Whiskey
    is up with people not using effective birth control?!

    LW, neither you nor your girlfriend are grownup enough to reproduce and be parents, and the fact that you don’t know this is extremely alarming. Please consider placing your baby for adoption instead of perpetuating yet another cycle of the poor job your parents clearly did with you.

    1. And yesterday we had a bf who became a father at age 17 — wtf!

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      I really disagree that getting pregnant unplanned is a reflection upon someone’s parents.
      Would you say if a kid becomes a drug addict, its their parents’ fault?

      1. Getting pregnant unplanned (or planned when unmarried and obviously unable emotionally and financially to care for a child) often does reflect on the parents. Trying to shield your kids from knowledge of and access to contraception is certainly a way of facilitating unplanned pregnancies. Being such awful parents that the kids either want to get pregnant to get out of the house or have no concept of what parenting involves, also is on the parents.

  21. This makes me think of my friend and her boyfriend….she’s caught him sexting other girls, she’s cheated on him with a couple of guys, she berates him when we’re all out together, he’s emotionally abusive. The baby will be here in 2 months. Terrifying.

    1. She berates him in public and you say he’s the emotionally abusive one. Sounds like she is at least his equal as an emotional abuser. An SO sexting others is problematic, but pales beside actually cheating with multiple dudes. At any rate, they sound like a royally screwed up couple.

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